All but one school district in the WLDS-WEAI News coverage area maintained the status quo in the latest edition of the state’s financial report card.
The annual Illinois State Board of Education’s School District Financial Profile, which reflects 2015 data, places Jacksonville District 117, A-C Central, Franklin, Meredosia-Chambersburg, Waverly, Carrollton, Greenfield, Scott-Morgan and New Berlin school districts in the “Recognition” category.
That means those schools are in the highest category of financial strength in the view of the ISBE.
Meanwhile, North Greene, Winchester and Triopia are in the “Financial Review” category. Triopia dropped down a notch, having been in the “Recognition” category in 2014.
Triopia Superintendent Steven Eisenhauer says the end of the most recen fiscal year, the school district had zero debt, but last summer, the school district spent over $4-million in building improvements, which he says led to the state dropping the district’s financial standing.
“That debt’s going to be on the books for 20 years because we put in a geothermal heating and air conditioning system in the district and new roofs everywhere. So, the buildings are in very good shape now, and for the taxpayers, we know there’s a 20-year commitment, but that’s something we were looking to do. And, we’re going to use the Morgan County facilities tax money to help pay that bill off as well,” says Eisenhauer.
“But, yeah, it did drop us down, but we knew that going into that process that we would have zero debt on the books, and add $4-million plus to it, that that’s definitely going to hurt your rating.”
Staying on the “Early Warning” list is Virginia School District.